Wall Street Underwhelms as Earnings Take Center-Stage

Michael Teague |

Wall Street was lower by Wednesday’s closing bell, as recent worries about D.C. politics and Treasury spending gave way to earnings results from the recently-ended third quarter.

After yet another run of four consecutive record closes, The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index cooled off by 0.47 percent to 1,746.38, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.35 percent lower to 15,413.33, with the NASDAQ taking the biggest hit, a loss of 0.57 percent, closing at 3,907.07.

The only real success to speak of on the Dow was aerospace/defense titan Boeing (BA) , whose shares were up over 5 percent after the company reported a substantial jump in quarterly profits and raised guidance for the fourth quarter. Construction machinery producer Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) , offered up the diametrically opposite performance, however, after shares were over 6 percent off after coming up short of earnings expectations and slashing forecasts.

The S&P 500 meanwhile was pulled under by the number-six oil & gas services company FMC Technologies (FTI) , whose shares were off almost 9 percent by the close as the company missed on top and bottom  lines, despite its earnings statement showing significant year-over-year growth. The highest-volume losses were reserved for tech stocks, particularly those of semiconductor manufacturers such as Micron Technology (MU) , Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) , and Intel (INTC) . One of the few bright spots on the index was electronics firm Corning (GLW) , who ended the day 14 percent higher after releasing a strong Q3 earnings statement and announcing a joint venture with Samsung Electronics to produce LCD glass.

The NASDAQ saw the $2.17 billion REIT American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP) take the most heavily traded loss of the day, 2 percent, after announcing a merger with Cole Real Estate Investments (COLE) . The latter ended the day nearly 9 percent higher.

Semiconductors were also a big drag, however, with Cree Inc. (CREE) , Applied Materials (AMAT) , and Altera Corp. (ALTR) all ending the day on heavy losses. Diversified toy-manufacturer JAKKS Pacific, however, gained over 25 percent by the end of trading after cost-cutting measures saw the company’s Q3 earnings and revenue firmly ahead of estimates. Shares for drug manufacturer Amgen Inc. (AMGN) pared back about 0.50 percent of the previous day’s gains

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Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
AGXLY Agenix Ltd S/Adr n/a n/a n/a 0
ALTR Altera Corp. n/a n/a n/a 0
AMAT Applied Materials Inc. 28.86 0.00 0.00 5,644,826
AMGN Amgen Inc. 158.98 1.09 0.69 2,045,702
BA Boeing Company (The) 145.41 6.39 4.60 10,547,208
BRCM Broadcom Corp. n/a n/a n/a 0
CAT Caterpillar Inc. 83.96 -0.52 -0.62 5,022,123
CREE Cree Inc. 22.73 -0.10 -0.44 1,007,224
FTI FMC Technologies Inc. 32.07 -0.35 -1.08 2,442,382
GLW Corning Incorporated 23.06 0.09 0.39 8,978,849
INTC Intel Corporation 34.89 -0.22 -0.61 14,456,538
MU Micron Technology Inc. 17.68 0.14 0.80 18,306,058


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